First Lady H.E. Stellah Samboja has graced the official opening of a 4-day free Cataract Surgery Camp at Mwatate Sub-County Hospital set to benefit 300 residents drawn from the entire County.



This humanitarian effort is as a result of collaborative efforts from the Office of the First Lady, Taita Taveta County Department of Health Services, Rishit Shah Family, Team Pankaj Foundation and the Lions SightFirst Eye Hospital.



County First Lady noted that through this initiative, health services are being brought closer to the people at the grassroots level in line with the functions of devolution.



“Residents of the County can now enjoy services within the borders of Taita Taveta. Such services were previously sought in other Counties, “ she reiterated.



Pankaj Shah, Founder Team Pankaj Foundation, stated that the complimentary surgeries target to gift beneficiaries with better vision.



“ The gift of improved sight is necessary so people can live a more independent and comfortable life,” Mr Shah said.




The blind now see

Ayub Mwasaru, 65, from Taveta Sub-County couldn’t read but after the surgery he can read and see objects further away.


He is now a man with a newly found vision and confidence.


Samuel Maina, 50, Taveta said he can see more productivity and happiness in his life.


The Taveta residents thanked Governor Granton Samboja’s administration for spearheading such essential services to the community.



49-year-old widow Josephine Kilola who hails from Bura Ward, also thanked donors and the current administration led by H.E. Governor Granton Samboja for extending a hand of kindness and compassion to the needy at the village level.



“ This is a surgery I could not have afforded. It could have meant digging deeper into my pockets, “ said Kilola who has been suffering from the eye condition for almost a year.



Evan Mbinga, Sagalla Ward resident aged 63 noted that this is a reprieve for those who have vision challenges as a result of cataracts.




“ Not everyone is ready to be a caregiver for people with suchlike challenges. Through this operation I can be a productive member of the society. The initiative shows proper service to the community,” he said, adding that the free transport to Mwatate Sub-County Hospital where surgeries were taking place was another sign of good will.


Cataract Surgery Explained


Medical Superintendent Esha Said, remarked that cataracts make the transparent eye lens to become opaque.



“ It is progressive in nature, resulting in poor and blurred vision. Surgery involves removing the cloudy lens then replacing it with an intraocular lens. Eyes are fitted with the mentioned lenses, which are an alternative to the thick eye glasses beneficiaries were given before, “ Said stated.


Surgeons’ Diaries


Albert Masua, Cataract Surgeon, Lion SightFirst Eye Hospital termed the operations successful with good visual outcomes being recorded.


“ Many people need cataract surgeries but can’t afford the opportunity due to related costs, inability to accessing a surgeon and some have the perception that some form of blindness is irreversible,” Masua said.


He added that cataracts are the leading cause of reversible blindness in the globe and country.


“ For every 3 people aged 60 and above, at least 2, have a cataract causing visual disturbance,” the surgeon stated.


Obrien Mwasawa, Opthalmic Clinical Officer and Cataract Surgeon Moi County Referral Hospital MCRH Voi said that post operative cases are happy.


“ These beneficiaries will undergo follow up checks next week at MCRH. Blindness limits socioeconomic development of an individual and they may be heavily dependent on society. This surgery is a remedy for reversible blindness ,” Mwasawa continued.


Day 1 saw 60 surgeries conducted.






Domestication of SDGs in Taita Taveta County



Health Services CECM John Mwangeka Mwakima noted that these services boost health and well-being as per United Nations UN-backed Sustainable Development Goals SDG 3.




The First Lady concluded by saying, “ Such collaborative efforts localise SDG 17 at the grassroots community level. This goal talks about revitalizing   partnerships for sustainable development.”



The County Chief Officer CCO Health Services Philomena Kirote, Chief of Protocol Amos Mkari Saleh, Mwatate Sub County Administrator Ruel Mwawasi, Chawia Ward Administrator Mercy Mwazo, Administrator Governor’s Office Loice Shali, County Health Committee Members (CHMT) were in attendance.